(Business in Cameroon) - Cameroonian government deploys over 200 wheat testing sites across the country, the minister delegate to the agriculture minister (Minader), Clémentine Ananga Messina, revealed following a visit to a site in Wassandé, in Adamaoua region.
This north locality that is home to the ruins of the wheat development company (Sodéblé), a state-owned company that went bankrupt in the 80s, is one of the current test grounds of new varieties of wheat in the country.
“We have high-altitude and low-altitude varieties. We deploy testing sites based on certain research criteria and we select four varieties. The next step is to pursue testing for one or two years before finally selecting varieties suitable for each agro ecologic area,” Clémentine Ananga Messina said in an interview with Oeil du Sahel.
According to the official, this testing phase, supported by the Institute of agricultural research for development (IRAD), aims to reduce wheat imports that is a major cause of capital flights, along with rice.
“We import wheat for more than XFA150 billion each year, in the form of flour, grain as well as finished or semi-finished products such as cakes, cookies, biscuits […] because wheat is part of a widely diversified and long value chain,” said the delegate minister who forecasts wheat consumption to double or even triple over the coming years with the increase in urban population.
Brice R. Mbodiam